The myth of globalisation as a form of true catholicity

If the state is a parody on the Church and the civil society can't be the free space where the Church can regain political responsibility, maybe the globalisation is a hopeful sign? The advance of globalisation has in some ways eroded the nation-states sovereignty, something which may open up, says Cavanaugh, "interesting possibilities for reimagination of more complex political spaces"[15] compared to the nation-state's simple space between the sovereign and the individual. But for the moment, he thinks, "corporations are the primary beneficiaries."

One could believe that the nation-state and the globalisation are mortal enemies. But that is not so, Cavanaugh maintains. Actually the nation-state has in some ways promoted the development. Globalisation is in fact "a hyperextension of the nation-state's project of subsuming the local under the universal."[16] "Just as the state enacted a unitary national market" freed from interventions of local customs and the authority of families, guilds, clans, unions, churches, "so now the global market is taking it's place. Government has not disappeared but become decentralized and partially deterritorialized."[17]

The subject created is the ... universal homogeneous consumer.

It is a kind of vision of the world as being all one big village, a vision of true catholicity that produces peace and overcomes division. But actually, new global divisions are being produced, between rich and poor, north and south. It also produces fragmented subjects that, due to localities competing for capital, hover between an apparent attachment to the local and forced detachment from the local. "[T]he subject created is the ... universal homogeneous consumer", which prise the local and particular because of its novelty, but "whose 'catholic' tastes preclude him from attachment to any particular narratives."[18]

[15] Killing, p. 265.
[16] Theopolitical Imagination, p. 99.
[17] Killing, p. 265.
[18] Theopolitical Imagination, p. 111.

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Av Bengt Rasmusson

Bengt Rasmusson är teolog och mediakonsult.

Bengt Rasmusson is a theologian and a media consultant.